- The Washington Times - Monday, June 24, 2019

The average Russian’s fondness for the “good old days” of the Soviet Union has hit a new milestone, according to a new poll released Monday.

When the independent Levada Center pollster surveyed 1,616 adults in 50 regions across the Russian Federation, a clear majority said leaders of the Soviet regime cared for the common man and woman more than the current leadership.

“The most significant growth was demonstrated by allegations concerning the social sphere and the state’s concern for citizens,” according to the pollster’s report.

Despite the economic shortcomings, the Cold War pressures, and the lack of democratic freedoms, 59% of the Russian respondents said “the state took care of ordinary people,” reported The Moscow Times.

The next most popular responses cited the absence of ethnic conflicts (46%) and successful economic development without unemployment (43%).

“All that the U.S.S.R. is now glorified for is largely a consequence of what Russians are unhappy with now: low income, inequality and corruption,” Levada sociologist Karina Pipiya wrote in an op-ed for the Vedomosti business daily.

Continuous improvement of living conditions (39%) and scientific and cultural advancements (31%) placed fourth and fifth in Russian citizens’ ranking of Soviet life, The Moscow Times reported.

The Levada Center has distributed this survey over the past few decades but noted that nostalgia was at a 14-year high in December. The approval rating for former Soviet dictator Josef Stalin’s hit 70% in a survey released this spring.

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